American Presidents and gruesome murders on the Galway-Mayo border

Patrick talks with authors about their latest history books

Talking History is back with its first book special after the summer break. Join Professor Patrick Geoghegan as he explores some fantastic new history books with their authors.

Opening the show Patrick talks with William E. Leuchtenburg about his study of American Presidents of the 20th century. Working all the way from Teddy Roosevelt up to Bill Clinton The American President explores how different each 'Leader of the Free World' was, what impact they had on the world, and how the office itself changed from 1901 to 2001.

Spike Island is a beautiful refuge resting in the comfort of Cork Harbour. Once a monastery, this refuge became a prison during the Great Famine. It would remain as such for almost 40 years, housing thousands of convicts as they awaited freedom or transportation. In Too Beautiful for Pickpockets and Thieves, Cal McCarthy and Barra O'Donnabhan explore the island's short penal history and what happened to those who passed through its gates.

The show ends with an investigation into a centuries old crime and how innocent men paid for the dishonesty of the authorities. In 1882 Joyce Country, straddling the Galway-Mayo border, was shook by barbaric murders. Seán Ó Cuirreáin's Éagóir is devoted to these murders and what happened afterwards. Why was an innocent man allowed to hang? Did the authorities really fabricate evidence? And impact did these events have on Joyce Country?